Why Are My iPhone Apps Waiting or Stuck? Here’s The Fix.

You’re trying to update your iPhone apps, but they’re stuck on waiting. Thankfully, the fix for this problem is usually very simple. In this article, I’ll show you the real fixes for iPhone apps that are stuck waiting to update, both using your iPhone and using iTunes, so you can update your apps and get back to using your iPhone.

Check Your iPhone’s Internet Connection

You’ve gone to the App Store, visited the Updates tab, and chosen Update or Update All. It’s normal for apps to take a few moments to start the download process and do the update. But if it’s been more than 15 minutes or so and your app icon is still grayed out with the word “waiting” underneath, it’s time to do some investigating.

Your internet connection could be to blame. Your iPhone needs to be connected to the internet to download app updates, so you either need to be on a Wi-Fi network or your iPhone carrier’s cellular network. The connection also has to be stable.

First, check your iPhone to make sure it isn’t in Airplane Mode. To do that, go to Settings -> Airplane Mode. The box next to Airplane Mode should be white. If it’s green, tap the toggle to turn it white. If your iPhone was in Airplane Mode, turning it off will automatically trigger it to reconnect to your default cellular and Wi-Fi connections.

make sure airplane mode is off

Reconnect, give it a minute, then check on your iPhone apps. The updates should start to download, giving you a progress indicator on the app icon and in the App Store under Updates. If you don’t see that and your iPhone apps are still stuck waiting, try some of our other fixes.

Log In And Out Of Your Apple ID

A lot of the time when apps are stuck waiting or not downloading on your iPhone, there’s an issue with your Apple ID. Every app on your iPhone is linked to a specific Apple ID. If there’s an issue with that Apple ID, apps may get stuck.

Usually, signing out and back into the App Store will fix the problem. Open Settings and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, then tap Sign Out. Enter your Apple ID password, then tap Turn Off.

sign out of apple id on iphone

If you continue to have issues with that Apple ID, visit Apple’s website and try logging in there. If an issue exists, something will pop-up on this webpage.

Delete The App & Try Again

It’s possible that the app had an issue trying to do the update. You can bypass this issue by uninstalling the app stuck in waiting and then reinstalling it.

How To Delete An App On Your iPhone

Press and hold on the app icon until the dropdown menu appears. Tap Remove App -> Delete App -> Delete to uninstall the app on your iPhone.

delete pandora on iphone

You can also delete apps in Settings by going to General -> iPhone Storage. Tap on an app you want to delete, then tap Delete App.

delete tiktok in the settings app

Is Your iPhone Out of Space?

Sometimes, there are iPhone apps waiting because there isn’t enough room on your iPhone to download the updates. In Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage, you’ll see exactly how much room is available on your iPhone and which apps are using the most memory.

view storage space on iphone

You can clear up space on your iPhone by:

  • Deleting apps you don’t use.
  • Using iCloud to back up your photos and videos.
  • Getting rid of long text conversations.
  • Deleting files in apps, such as audio books, that take up a lot of space on your iPhone.

Once you make more room on your iPhone, check your iPhone apps that are waiting or try reinstalling the apps.

Check Apple’s System Status Page

If your connection is solid, your settings are right, and your iPhone apps are still stuck waiting, there may be a problem with the App Store. Check out Apple’s System Status page and make sure a green dot appears next to App Store. If many dots aren’t green, there’s

Apple keeps a handy website with the status of their system. You can check this page to see if the problem is with the App Store.

Fixing Software Problems

Software is the code that tells your iPhone what to do and when to do it. Unfortunately, software doesn’t always work properly. When that’s the case, it could be the reason for iPhone apps getting stuck while waiting to download updates.

Restart Your iPhone

A simple way to help correct a software problem on your iPhone is to restart the phone. You’d be amazed how often this simple step helps!

To restart your iPhone, hold down the power button. That’s on the upper right-hand side of your iPhone. Hold it for a few seconds until the screen changes. Then, slide your finger across the part that says slide to power off. Once your iPhone is off, count to 10 and then push the power button again to restart it.

If you have an iPhone with Face ID, simultaneously press and hold the side button and either volume button until slide to power off appears on the screen. Then, swipe the power icon from left to right. Wait 30–60 seconds, then press and hold the side button to reboot your iPhone.

turn off your iphone

Reset Your iPhone Settings

If restarting the iPhone and a hard reset don’t help, you can try resetting your iPhone’s settings. This puts your software settings back to the way they were when you got your iPhone (or the latest version of your iPhone’s operating system).

To do this, go to Settings -> General -> Transfer Or Reset iPhone -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. Choose Reset All Settings and follow the prompts on your screen.

If you’re running iOS 14 or older, open Settings and tap General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings

reset all settings ios 15

Back Up and Restore

If none of these steps help, you can back up your iPhone and then restore it. There are a few different ways to do this, but we here at Payette Forward like to suggest doing a DFU restore.

DFU stands for Default Firmware Update. If you go to a Genius Bar, this is the kind of backup and restore the Apple folks will do. But with a bit of help, you can do this yourself. Just make sure you have everything you want on your iPhone saved and backed up before you try this. Then, visit our article How To Put An iPhone In DFU Mode, The Apple Way for detailed instructions on what to do.

iPhone Apps: No Longer Stuck!

Like many of the issues that can happen with your iPhone, when your iPhone apps are waiting to update, you have plenty of different options for fixing the problem. Tell us about your experience with getting your iPhone unstuck in the comments section below.

About Author

I'm Valerie Lauer, a writer, editor and tech enthusiast. I believe in channeling my technical support powers for the greater good, creating helpful how-tos and making life with your smartphone easier.

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11 days ago

Nothing is working for me. I’ve spoken to Apple and now I am in contact with a manager’s manager who isn’t responding. All fixes online and from Apple have not worked!

1 month ago

Deleting one app fixed the problem on my phone. Everything started to install and download just fine. Everything else I tried did not fix the problem.

2 months ago

About 1/2 of my apps were still loading 5 hours after I left the AT&T store with new iPhone 12 Pro Max in hand. When I tried to delete one of the apps, a menu came up. I chose “prioritize,” and suddenly all of my apps finished loading.

2 months ago
Reply to  Vicki

been through so many guides and your comment is the first ive seen and only thing that has fixed the issue lol

30 days ago
Reply to  Vicki

I tried everything and nothing worked. Prioritize downloaded 55 apps instantly. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny Smithers
27 days ago
Reply to  Vicki

Vicki you are my hero! Thanks so much!!!

27 days ago
Reply to  Vicki

Same issue, after 5 hours at home apps on iPhone 12 mini still hadn’t loaded, tried to delete an app selected prioritize and it worked, they loaded. Thanks Vicki!!!

20 days ago
Reply to  Vicki

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! This was the ONLY solution that worked!!!!!

19 days ago
Reply to  Vicki

Same here spent all day trying and i found this and it worked. Thanks Vicki!

Grateful gal
16 days ago
Reply to  Vicki


Jim W
1 day ago
Reply to  Vicki

Brilliant! Fixed my issue. Thank you Vicki.

5 months ago

Great advice all apps now reinstated on my new iPhone.
thank you

7 months ago

I just purchased a new phone yesterday, iPhone SE. All information got transferred. Except my apps are all still in waiting queue. It’s been almost 24 hours. What do I need to do?

Liam Shotwell
7 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

Make sure you are connected to the internet. You can try rebooting, or maybe even a hard reset. Also, you may need to sign out of your Apple ID and sign back in again.

9 months ago

Omg thank you so much!!!!

10 months ago

turn off wait ten secs turn on worked. I put my gmail passowrd in and everythingn started working

1 year ago

Take it off low power mode! Mine instantly downloaded after that

1 year ago

i am trying al these which given but the condition is same iPhone apps stuck waiting.please tell me the other solution if any.

1 year ago
Reply to  Moin

Take it off low power mode

2 years ago

Reboot your Wi-Fi router in your home, especially if you can update through cellular network.

3 years ago

my apps keep say waiting with the new update

4 years ago

turn wifi on and off couple of times and you will start waiting apps loading

4 years ago

sorry but you sound like you still work for apple if you ask me – i have held down both buttons and it just keeps coming back i have been onto apple and been sent all over the place – i loved appled but this is it – they are telling me im not eligible for the assistance – its all going the 3 ipads 3 phones and 2 computers – stuff money hungry arseholes